Joining the Army: One Student’s Experience

Jeff Vaughan, Private E-1

As of November 2016 I have made my decision on joining the army and was officially enlisted as of December 20 2016 but I never expected to go through all I did before I enlisted.

Early spring of 2016 was when I started looking into different jobs so I could get an idea of what I should do when I graduate high school and one of them was joining the military. The first thing I did was talk to a recruiter who talked to me about the army and what they are all about, once we finished he recommended that I should take the ASVAB.

On September 2016 I decided to take the ASVAB and did it through IRHS since they do it early on in the school year. Once I got my ASVAB results in November 2016, I talked to my parents and we were disappointed with the “grade” we saw on the results. After discussing it with my parents I decided to talk to my recruiter about it and found out that the score that I received was counted up in a certain way and the calculated results would look a lot different than what is on the report.

So my score turned out to be a lot higher than what I originally thought it was. Once I was told this from my recruiter, I wanted to talk about what kind of jobs [everyone in the military has a job category, or Military Occupational Specialty] I could get with the scores that I got. At that point my recruiter gave me some paperwork to fill out to and a list of MOS’s that my scores met and told me to look into what he gave me, to start my journey on joining the Army.

The paperwork was a bit lengthy but wasn’t too difficult to do. The paperwork required you to answer some questions about your health, mentally and physically, if you had any law violations on your record, and if you have had any alcohol or drug problems and if so you had to discuss it in detail to determine if you are eligible to join for security reasons. [Some MOS require higher security clearances – Ed.]

The endless paperwork also required you to put down your own information like your address phone number social security number date of birth and birthplace. The last bit of it was references and family members, references are those who could vouch for your well being or to confirm that you currently live where you are now or have lived in.They also need to know your current relatives from parents to step parents brothers and sisters if they are full blooded, half-blooded or if they are your step siblings.

Once the packet was filled out and they put it into their database they began to discuss the jobs that were available but at the time I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do so they told me to go over the MOS’s and highlight the ones that interest me. December 2016 I went to the recruiter station and gave them the list of MOS’s and training slot for two of them were available, all I needed to do was pick one and once I did they locked it in and reserved the job for me.

Once that was done I needs to go through MEPS [a physical and face-to-face entry screening station] which is to make sure that I am capable of joining the military in general, and to discuss the MOS that I picked. After that they put my fingerprints into the system to do a quick background check from the FBI. [If you pass the quick one, but have later problems with security clearance, your chosen MOS may not be available, and you’ll have to choose something else.]

As soon as they put my prints into the system, they got me sign one last form that officially puts me in the military. Once I signed it I was sweared in and from that moment I was officially in the Army. I am currently on standby orders until I graduate high school, once I finish I get ready to ship out for basic training and my new life begins. It was a lengthy process but I feel it was worth it to get into the military.